Saturday, February 20, 2010

Toto, Are We In A Strip Mall?

Since moving to Cleveland two years ago, I've been meaning to try Corleone's Ristorante & Bar in Parma. Our grocery store is nearby, our gym is nearby, the dry cleaner is down the street- I find myself driving past it on a frequent basis and I have always wondered what was inside. From the outside it is nothing special. Located in a strip mall with Pat Catan's, you certainly wouldn't expect what you find inside.

Upon walking in we discovered a warm, cozy yet modern bar area with beautiful wine racks and a door to an enclosed patio. I could easily picture "R" and I perched at the bar sipping a good glass of wine or tasty martini. I'll be back with the boyfriend in tow!

My group and I settled in out in the dimly lit main dining room. It certainly makes for a romantic spot, but it was a little hard to read the menu. One thing that I instantly loved about the restaurant is that it offers an Early Dinner Menu from 3-6 PM. The lengthy list of entrees is taken from the full Evening Dinner Menu but comes with soup, salad, bread, and a soft beverage for only $12 (veal dishes are $14). I thought that this would mean smaller portions of the traditional dishes and a cup of soup, but I was wrong!

We started with the Artichoke Sorrentino- lightly floured artichokes served golden brown with a side of cream cheese sauce ($9). This antipasti is from the main Evening Dinner Menu, but I don't suggest ordering this dish. The artichoke hearts were thickly breaded and deep fried, and all of the wonderful artichoke flavor was lost. Large steaming bowls of soup arrived next- wedding soup for one and vegetable beef for the rest of us. Both soups were flavored appropriately, but the slightly sweet wedding soup was the winner of the two. House salads arrived next- very standard and not worth describing. Two of my dining companions ordered the Liza- sautéed chicken encrusted with pine nuts and asiago cheese in a Romano chardonnay cream sauce. The only one of us that had dined there before swears by this dish, but I didn't have the chance to try a bite. I ordered the Gnocchi Capone- potato dumplings sautéed with mushrooms, onions and bacon in a spicy marinara cream sauce. The mushrooms, diced onions, and crumbled bacon were a nice combination of texture and flavor, and the sauce had a subtle heat to it. I was very happy with the dish.

We all know that some of the best hidden gems in our community (hell any community) are the ones that from the outside you wouldn't look at twice. So next time you are in Parma, turn in to the Pat Catan's strip mall and settle in for a glass of wine and a plate of tasty pasta. Just make sure that you take advantage of the Early Dinner Menu, because the prices seemed a little high for the Evening Menu. It's $12 good, but not $15-$39 good (prices of the Evening Menu only include entree).

Corleone's Ristorante & Bar
5669 Broadview Road
Cleveland, OH 44134
(216) 741-0220

Corleone's Ristorante & Bar on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I love their bar area as well. It's a nice cozy spot with great happy hour deals.